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Monday, July 15, 2019

Kraybill Church Road traffic 7/13/19
This open wagon has been a daily sight on Kraybill Church Road, where we live, since the weather has been very warm and sunny. Just ahead on the left is the original Kraybill Church (now part of the school) which sits across from Kraybill Mennonite Cemetery (which you'll see in a lower photo).

"A Lesson From Onions"

Message summary: Today let us make a fresh declaration that we won't go back.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic" (Numbers 11:5). "Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?" (Numbers 14:3).

Mixed Onions My earliest memory of onions was being worried about my Mom. I just couldn't understand why she cried when she cut up onions! A crying parent, especially a father, is a source of distress to children.

Onions are grown and used all around the world. They were taken to North America by the first European settlers who discovered the plant was already in wide use by Native Americans. According to diaries kept by the first English colonists, the bulb onion was one of the first crops planted by the Pilgrim fathers.

Camp breakfastI don't recall liking onions as a child but I acquired the taste as I grew older and now like to add onions on just about everything but dessert. The photo to the left shows a breakfast being prepared at a men's campout in the mountains. We usually have eggs, pancakes, hash browns with peppers and onions, bacon and sausage. It's especially good cooked over the open fire.

Onions are reported to have numerous health benefits including improved vitamin C production, reducing inflammation, regulating blood sugar, and preventing certain cancers.

Bloomin onionThere's only one reference to onions in the Bible which is our daily text, so let's see what lesson we can learn from it. Onions are among a list of dietary items the recently delivered Israelites missed from their days in Egypt. Bible scholars have determined that specifically they missed the Bloomin' Onion appetizer from the Egyptian Roadhouse (just kidding of course).

Keith Green was one of our favorite musicians as young Christians in the late seventies and early eighties. He had been an up and coming rock musician in the early seventies when he made a 180-degree turn to follow Christ. His ministry called the church, especially young believers, to solid commitment to Christ.

One of his albums was titled, "So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt?" Egypt, as most of you know, was the country where Moses led the Israelites out of in the Exodus. But incredibly some of them wanted to return to Egypt (see Numbers 14:3). This was initially a literal desire in spite of their bondage while in Egypt and the horrible conditions they were delivered from.

In Keith's song he sees Egypt as representing the old way of life that seeks to draw the believer back to their life before Christ. 

The traveling accommodations got really tough for the Israelites in the wilderness. Theirs was a very hard and long journey to the Promised Land. Can you imagine traveling and camping daily with ten children in tow, along with all your belongings and cattle? If you've taken a trip across the country in a vehicle with several children you know the stress it brings; children fussing, diapers needing changed, others pleading, "Are we there yet?", only to have a flat tire along the way.

Imagine how much harder it would be to be walking the journey! In the process of heading to the Promised Land a spirit of discontent and complaining arose among them. The Israelites had selective memory, forgetting all the pain and abuse in Egypt but recalling only the pleasant memories. The good things were yet to come but they weren't experiencing them yet. They surely wondered if the food which they remembered from Egypt wouldn't be a part of their diet later.

But they set their hearts and minds along with their appetites on that which they didn't have at the present time, and this led them to complain about the manna, a miraculous provision which they had grown weary of.

We are also on a journey, as the old hymn states, "Bound For The Promised Land". The way will be in varying degrees tough. We may also have a selective memory problem and the old life may look good. (In our personal observation this diminishes the farther along you are on the journey.)

The urge to go back was also expressed in John 6:66 as "many of His disciples" abandoned the cause and turned back. "From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him."

Jesus asked the Twelve, "You do not want to leave too, do you?"

Outspoken Simon Peter speaks for all the Twelve, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God."

Today let us make a fresh declaration that we won't go back.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Jesus, You alone have the words of eternal life. Like Simon Peter, we have come to believe and to know that You are the Holy One of God. As believers we are bound for the Promised Land, but we know the way is not for the faint of heart. Some go through the fire, some through the flood, some through the water but, because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, we all go through the blood. Help us not to get distracted or be deceived by the devil's allurement back to the old way of life before we made You the Lord of our lives. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen

Onions 7/12/19
Last week we bought several candy onions and are hanging them to dry.

Bacon/tomato/onion sandwich 7/13/19
Saturday evening Brooksyne made me a BTO sandwich. She makes it extra special tasting with basil sprinkled on the onion and tomato, along with pesto spread with the mayo. At this time of year the basil plants are overflowing with leaves so it's a good time to make several batches of pesto which she freezes for later use.

Onion wagon 07-11-19
We shared this photo last Friday and it was further musing after buying the three onions from this farm in the photo above that prompted today's message.

Kraybill Church Road traffic 7/13/19
Another neighborhood view from Saturday afternoon which shows the Kraybill Mennonite Cemetery. I (Brooksyne) walk by this cemetery several days a week with the three dogs in tow. When I'm alone I take time to read the tombstones and am finding I know more and more people buried there. A few tombstones date back as early as the 1700's.

New floor installation 7/13/19
Several weeks ago we shared a photo of our 17 year old carpet that Ester helped remove from our home office while Brooksyne was at Joni & Friends Retreat. Last Saturday a friend, Luis, installed the new laminate flooring. Ester took this photo about 1/2 way through. Next week we will share a photo of the finished project since there's still some trim for Luis to install.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt"  Video  Keith Green  "Eating leeks and onions by the night, ooh what breath but dining out in style"

"I Won't Go Back"  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir Video (with lyrics)

"Faithful To The End"  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir This song is dedicated to Julie Heitz and her children. Yesterday afternoon we attended her husband Tim's funeral. We referred to Tim several times the last six months following his diagnosis in January with ALS. A pastor friend, by Tim's request, preached the message at his funeral. Tim told Pastor Shearer, "I want you to make the people jealous of where I am".

Check out this new casting Crowns song "Nobody"  Video  "I'm just a nobody, trying to tell everybody, all about Somebody who saved my soul"

Finally today:
Yesterday I saw this lettering on the back of a man's shirt at church. How we pray for men to rise up and be good fathers and dads!

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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